Derren Brown: TV Specials

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DERREN BROWN: THE GATHERING broadcast on C4 on 29 May, 2005

  • An invited audience is driven to a secret location in blacked out coaches for the show
  • An audience member is chosen to retrieve a soft toy from a table on stage. This is thrown into the audience to select someone at random. This person is asked to name a country, she chooses Africa; she is then asked to choose one of three shapes from those drawn on a board, before she states her choice DB indicates for the TV viewers the triangle, she then says triangle. DB directs her to pick up a sealed envelope from the table, open it and read it out. The letter states that she will choose the triangle, and something that will really bug her: how he knew she would choose Africa.
  • The game where the subject has to choose an envelope from two placed on the left and right hand sides of the stage: one contains a picture of DB's parrot, and the other a 1000 cheque. DB tells the audience which envelope he will get the subject to choose (this is ultimately proved to be correct). She picks one, and DB then gives her the rest of the show to change their mind.
  • A male and a female subject are picked at random from the audience, she is told to think of a surname and writes it on a card and he is told to draw something on a pad. DB then reveals the surname she was thinking of correctly. The drawing is then put in an envelope; DB describes it and draws a stripped cat on an easel; he then changes his mind and draws a stripped mouse; the first drawing is then revealed to be correct including the stripped detail
  • DB then tries to confuse the 1000 woman more about which envelope to choose
  • Krishnan Guru-Murphy is then picked from the audience and put in a light trance, he is told to think of a phone number, and pick two digits from it, he makes a note of these. A female is audience member is seated on stage and also placed in a light trance. She is blindfolded and given a marker pen and a small whiteboard. Krishnan then mentally transmits his numbers, and the woman is told to let her pen move naturally over the board while she counts backwards from five hundred. When she has written something on the board is it shown to be a demonstration of 'automatic writing' as the number matches Krishnan's digits. Krishnan then points out that the phone number he chose was for a friend called Charlie, and coincidentally the woman chosen at random to do the automatic writing is called Charlie.
  • the audience is then told to relax and focus on a single light - DB explains he is doing this to make everyone forget the show when they leave
  • As a memory feat DB asks a randomly selected member of the audience to give him the name of the street on which they live, in return he tells them the page number and grid reference of the street in a memorised London A-Z along with the other details of the box's contents. Another audience member picks a page at random and is asked to choose a box with a dominant feature, DB then describes the feature when told the page number and grid reference. Another random audience member, a cabbie, is called to the stage and picks a random street from the A-Z index which he himself did not know. DB then reveals the page number, the index column, the entries above and below the chosen one, and then finally the details of the actual choice.
  • DB tries to confuse the 1000 game woman again before her final choice but she maintains her original choice, and finds the picture of Figaro.
  • DB then chooses one of the cabbies from the audience and shows him a wall with pages of the London A-Z stuck to it to make a large map, he is given a black envelope and put in to a light trance and told to imagine driving a passenger to an unknown destination, 'Location X'. At this point there was a loud bang, "one of the pyros for the end of the show" DB explained sheepishly. Even though the cabbie's current position was only 1.5 miles away from the destination, he was told he could take the fare a longer way round to earn some more money. He was then asked to visualise the route he was driving and to imagine driving the route, particularly the corners. When he completed his imaginary drive, he announced "I'm here", and he then describes the route starting at Buckingham Palace to Shepherd's Bush Green (page 82, grid reference 2E) which DB draws on the large map for him; the cabbie says the journey would cost about 8. The envelope is opened to reveal a printed card reading "82 - 2E", an acetate showing the predicted route when overlaid on the map, and a cab receipt for 8. DB then pulls the map off the wall to reveal large printed text reading "Shepherd's Bush Green".
  • members of the audience are interviewed after the show, and they can only recall the haziest details about the performance
  • the audience are then shown leaving the theatre, and the street signs show them to be in Shepherd's Bush Green

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